Steven Gerrard has hinted he could be powerless to stop Douglas Luiz leaving Aston Villa on transfer deadline day.
The Brazilian midfielder has just one year left on his current contract and with no sign of progress on a new deal, the ailing Midlands club could be forced to sell one of their prized assets at a discounted price .
Villa’s miserable start to the new season continued last night after Arsenal extended their winning streak to five games thanks to Gabriel Martinelli’s winner.
Luiz started the game on the bench but seemed like he had earned his side a point with an unusual goal straight from a corner.
On the 24-year-old’s future after the game, Gerrard said: “I have no control over it. That’ll be Douglas, his agent, and what’s going on around it.
“I would like to keep him. I think he’s a fantastic player. I made that very clear.
“We’re not in a position where we have to lose our top players, but at the same time Douglas has one year left.
“It’s one of those really tricky situations where the club has to do what’s best for the club, not necessarily what’s best for me.”
Villa’s hopes of keeping the former Manchester City player have not been helped by the increasing need for reinforcements from several heavyweight clubs.
Mikel Arteta is known to be a huge admirer of Luiz and with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny on the sidelines for extended periods, the Gunners will make renewed efforts to bolster their engine room.
After last night’s win, the Arsenal manager said: “Obviously it has an impact because Thomas [Partey] is injured and we are a little short in this position.
“We have Sambi and Granit can play there but we are looking for options in the market. The club have been very supportive in improving the squad and team as much as possible and if the right player is available and we can do it then we will try.
According to Sky Sports, a Premier League club will make a £20m bid for Luiz, with Chelsea and Liverpool both said to be interested.
Chelsea’s need for a new midfielder has increased following N’Golo Kante’s recent injury setback, while Jurgen Klopp recently admitted his plans had changed after an indifferent start to the new season.
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